In the entire animal kingdom, chimpanzees come closest to resembling humans. As a matter of fact, they share as much as 98% of the human genetic blueprint. Humans and chimpanzees shared a common ancestor millions of years ago. Normally, these animals are referred to with their shortened name 'chimp'. They are an endangered species now. Hence, it is important to have an action plan to prevent them from becoming extinct.
Interesting Chimpanzee Facts for Kids
It is very common to see a lot of kids gathered at the chimpanzee enclosure at a zoo. They are attracted by the expressive faces of these animals. The social nature of these animals is also an attraction. Kids would be amazed to know that a chimpanzee escaped from Little Rock Zoo, and then cleaned the bathroom. This is how funny and amusing these creatures can be. Given below are some more facts.
Their face color ranges from pink to black. Their body is covered with long black hair, and they lack a tail. They have opposable thumbs and toes, which proves helpful for them to grasp objects with ease. Although they have a lot of similarities with the human species, there is one difference. They can walk on all four limbs. Rather, they normally walk on all four limbs, but for short distances, they can walk on two limbs as well. Like monkeys, they can also swing from one branch to another. If they stand upright, they measure about 4 feet in height. Males are heavier than the females. Males can weight anywhere between 90 and 120 pounds, whereas females can weigh anywhere from 60 to 110 pounds.
Chimps are natives to the continent of Africa. They were commonly seen in areas like Gambia, Benin, and Burkina Faso. However, now they are hardly found. They are typically found in tropical rainforests, but can also be found in woodlands, bamboo forests, swamps, and sometimes also in open savannah. Grasslands are also a type of habitat. They normally live on trees and use the leaves as nests.
Like humans, chimpanzees are omnivores. Their diet can range from fruits, nuts, and seeds, to insects. They may also rarely hunt for food. They normally hunt small baboons. They may also eat buds, barks, and stems of trees.
Social Behavior Traits
Chimpanzees are social animals. They live in communities which have approximately 50 members. A community has about 3 to 6 families living together. They follow a hierarchical structure in their group. The biggest and strongest male always heads the group. Adolescent females may be seen as a part of different groups. However, they have strict rules when it comes to territory. Normally, conflicts arise out of groups invading each others' territory.
When chimpanzees reach the age of 8 to 10 years, they attain sexual maturity. Until the offspring is about 3 years old, a female does not mate again. Gestation period is between 202 to 261 days. Normally, a young chimp is seen clinging to its mother when she travels from one tree to another. They are seen with their mother till they reach sexual maturity.
Other than humans, it is the chimpanzees who make use of tools for various purposes. They will be seen making tools for a number of reasons. They use materials such as twigs and grass to fish out termites from the barks of trees. At the same time, they also make use of sticks and stones as missiles to be used during their fights. They can also use stones to open hard-shelled nuts.
These are very affectionate creatures. They can often be seen touching each other lovingly. You may see them kiss and hold hands as well. Like human beings, they use verbal as well as non-verbal signs for communication. They give specific calls when they want to intimate the others in the group about food or danger. As a part of non-verbal communication, they make use of facial expressions.
From these facts, it is clear that there are other animals on earth which are as intelligent as humans. Maybe that is why a chimpanzee has also been part of a space mission.